Category Archives: PZ News and Events

The Chakula Challenge


In 2014, the Vocational Training Centre opened its doors to boarding students, providing a safe environment for students to pursue their studies. A kitchen, dining area, water collection system and food storage are urgently needed to provide clean, safe meals. Please consider a secondary gift towards the Chakula Challenge this year (Chakula means “food” in Swahili).

Project Description:  To address these needs at the VTC, Project Zawadi is underataking a special fundraising initiative dubbed the Chakula Challenge (chakula means food in Swahili).

The Chakula Challenge will fund the construction of an instructional kitchen, dining room, food storage rooms and rainwater collection and storage system.

  1. Instructional kitchen and food storage:  This will be used not only to prepare daily meals for the students, but will also create an opportunity to expand the VTC course offerings to include food preparation and cookery.
  2. Dining Hall:  In addition to providing a year-round location for taking meals, the dining hall will also be able to be used as a study hall and gathering space for students.
  3. Rainwater collection system:  The rainwater collection system will collect rainwater from the facilities roofs during the rainy season and store it in underground tanks for use the rest of the year, providing a reliable source of water on-site at the VTC.

Click here for full project details: Chakula Challenge 2014.

Question? Email Shannon Skally at

Chakula Challenge Completed!
Thank you to our Lead Donors!
“Kaete’s Kitchen” will begin construction shortly.
Platinum: Fred Binter, Sandra and Peter Williams
Gold: The Benroeck Family including matching funds from Microsoft, Mike and Paula Champion, Clayton and Janice Kooiker
Silver: Bruce and Jackie Erickson
Bronze: Roger and Maureen Osborne

Universal Children’s Day – November 20th

PZ Universal Children's DaySAVE THE DATE – THURSDAY, NOV. 20

After a phenomenal response last year (over $40,000 raised in one day!) Project Zawadi is again embracing Universal Children’s Day as our annual giving event day.

So mark your calendars for Thursday, November 20 and look for updates via mail, email and social media on how Project Zawadi will celebrate.  Plan your giving early as there will be matches available!

In the meantime, we’d love to connect with you electronically! Email to be added to the email list, like Project Zawadi on Facebook  or follow @ProjectZawadi  on Twitter.

Welcome to Innocent Mshana

Innocent Mshana and Zinduka VTC studentsProject Zawadi is pleased to welcome Innocent Mshana as the new Zinduka Vocational Training Centre director.  Over the past three years, Project Zawadi has cooperated with our community partner, Zinduka, to promote and support the development of a local, high-quality vocational training center in Nyamuswa.  The Zinduka VTC provides additional opportunities for training in the trades to both PZ-sponsored students and others in needlework, carpentry and computers.  A welding and metal fabrication program and English and entrepreneurship are poised to be added to the curriculum in the coming months and Innocent has been busy forging collaborations with regional resources to build and augment the Zinduka VTC programs.

Mazera’s Road Trip to Tanga

Mazera and Brian
Mazera and PZ President Brian Singer

Though Nyamuswa is right on the doorstep of the Serengeti, most PZ students will never have the means to visit this World Heritage Site or any of the other national park treasures of Tanzania.  But PZ-sponsored student Mazera did have the opportunity to visit both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater National Parks in January.  In 2013, Mazera  scored very highly on the national examinations at the end of primary school and was placed at a math and science high school in Tanga, a coastal community located far away across the country from Nyamuswa.

Mazera game-viewing in the Serengeti
Mazera game-viewing in the Serengeti

As luck would have it, the timing worked out so that Mazera and PZ Counselor Adam Musa could hitch a free ride part of the way to Tanga with PZ President Brian Singer who was returning to Arusha from Nyamuswa on his annual visit for Distribution Day activities.  Since the road passes right through the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation area, Mazera had the unique opportunity to do some game driving along the way!


PZ Counselor Adam Musa and Mazera at Ngorongoro Crater overlook.
PZ Counselor Adam Musa and Mazera at Ngorongoro Crater overlook.

Mazera is now back in Nyamuswa and, after a successful first semester in secondary school, is busy with tutoring and additional studies before returning to Tanga at the end of July.  Look for more updates on Mazera in the forthcoming PZ Summer newsletter which will be in mailboxes in early July!

Zinduka Visits the Tanzanian National Assembly

Zinduka Chair and Former Prime MinisterZinduka Chairwoman, Muse Mwisawa, spent last week participating in the Civil Societies’ Organizations National Exhibition at the National Assembly in Tanzania’s capitol city of Dodoma. 

Muse, pictured here with former prime minister Edward N. Lowassa, was representing the good works of Zinduka on a national stage. Hongera, sana (big congratulations) to Muse and the entire Zinduka organization.

Project Zawadi is truly fortunate in our collaboration with our amazing community partner!

Throwback Thursday – Dotto and Kurwa

From the vaults of PZ for Throwback Thursday #TBT.  Meet Dotto and Kurwa, twin brothers that began as sponsored students with Project Zawadi way back in 2002.  Today, Dotto and Kurwa are both pursuing a high-level architectural drafting vocational program at the same school in Dar es Salaam and well on the road to successful architectural careers.  Perhaps one day they’ll be the designers for some of Project Zawadi’s construction projects!

Dotto and Kurwa 2014
Dotto and Kurwa pursuing their architectural drafting program in 2014.
Kurwa in 2002
Dotto in 2002



Distribution Day – Not Just for Students!

Project Zawadi, Guardian Teacher, Counselor, Tanzania, Nyamuswa
Zinduka Counselor, Nerea, with Guardian Teacher, Mrs. Bituro, at Distribution Day 2014

Sponsored students aren’t the only ones to receive needed school materials in anticipation of the new Tanzanian school year.  Guardian Teachers also receive some teaching and learning materials like classroom editions of required textbooks, teacher’s guides, and chalk to enhance the learning environment in their classrooms.  Guardian Teachers and Counselors (along with student families) are key elements in the student academic support system in place for sponsored students.  Working together we all lend a hand in advancing sponsored students on their paths to self-reliance through education!

Brian Singer’s Speech at Peace Corps and Africa – Honoring 50 Years

As part of Peace Corps 50th Anniversary celebrations, Project Zawadi’s founder and president, Brian Singer, spoke about “Bringing the World Back Home” at the Peace Corps and Africa conference in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26th. It was an exciting opportunity to share the good works of Project Zawadi with the returned Peace Corps community and others interested in Africa.

Goodmakers Films Produce a Film for Project Zawadi

Tilo Ponder and Cris Blyth visited Tanzania last summer and sought out an opportuity to give back to Tanzania by creating a film for a non-profit organization. Project Zawadi was fortunate to be the recipient of gratis film making services. The result is a compelling 6-minute film about the origins of Project Zawadi as recounted by Adam Musa, Project Zawadi’s first student. Please take a few minutes to view this film which has garnered acclaim among GoodMakers Films’ peers on the the Studio’s Film Fest website.

Project Zawadi Welcomes New Board Members

At the June 12, 2010 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, two new board members were welcomed to the PROJECTZAWADI family and a past member has rejoined the board after a one-year hiatus:

Weclome new members:
Emma Kasiga (Saint Paul, MN)
Matthew Thomas (Minneapolis, MN)

Welcome back to:
Jennifer Haefeli (Sommerville, MA)

The Board of Directors would also like to take this opportunity to thank those Board Members who rotated off the Board this June. We thank you for your dedication and services:

Karen M. Stupic (Saint Paul, MN)
Neema Ngwilulupi-Malecela (Mt. Veronon, NY)